Sherbourne Bike Lane Audit Ride

Sherbourne Bike Lane Audit Ride

photos and story by Jun Nogami

Cycle Toronto organized a ride down the Sherbourne Bike lanes to solicit comments from users. Fifteen riders showed up, including two members of the City Cycling Infrastructure staff, as well as Cycle Toronto representatives from both Wards 27 and 28.

Here (below) are Paul Moir (Ward 28 captain), Dan Egan (Manager of Pedestrian and Cycling Infrastructure), and Chris (Ward 27 captain) at the start of the ride.

Before we got going, Dan gave a general overview of the entire project. He explained that there were two distinct designs for the bike lane, north and south of Gerrard Street. North of Gerrard, the bike lanes are segregated from traffic by raised curbs with rounded tops. South of Gerrard, due to the much higher density of driveways, they used a rolled curb design.

The ride got off to an inauspicious start because taxis were blocking the bike lane, just south of Bloor.

Here we are (below) headed south on the northern section. The windrow left by clearing snow from both the road and the bike lane actually enhances the separation from traffic.

We paused at Gerrard Street to discuss what we had seen so far.

This is what the rolled curb section looks like. There was little or no snow left on the rolled curb divider, which was more like a concrete ditch.

The ease with which cars can ignore the rolled curb caused problems, such as here, just by Moss Park Arena.

Here is the group headed back north.

We wrapped up the ride at Bloor and Sherbourne. Comments were generally positive, although there were some differences of opinion about issues such as the relative merits of the two bike lane designs, and the utility of specific features such as the marked bike boxes dedicated to indirect left hand turns. Cycle Toronto is soliciting feedback on the Sherbourne bike lane for the next several weeks with this online form.

This feedback will be important since the City is open to further enhancements such as increased signage, more road markings, and installation of flexible bollards. In addition, the City will be monitoring usage as well as other issues such as snow clearance, and police enforcement of illegal parking. They will use what is learned here in the implementation of other separated bike lanes to be rolled out elsewhere in the downtown area.

Overall, it was a very informative event, and it I also enjoyed riding the bike lanes with many like minded cyclists.

You can read an extended version of this post on Jun's own blog at


Related on the dandyBLOG:

Bike Spotting on Sherbourne (July 2011)

Bike Spotting on Sherbourne (at Moss Park, during construction of new separated lane)

Facelift proposed for pock-marked Sherbourne


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3 responses to “Sherbourne Bike Lane Audit Ride”

  1. We ride in cities the world over. They key to Toronto’s bicycle lane success is aggressive enforcement of the illegal parking by motor vehicles. Never do you see cars parked, or taxis and delivery trucks in the bike lanes of Copenhagen, Amsterdam or Berlin. Not many in Montreal either. Without parking enforcement, motorist use the bike lane as a convenient delivery and pick up lane. There may as well be no lane in that case.

  2. Arvin da Braga says:

    I am not yet aware but if it is not yet the case, I would strongly suggest that you have the school buses use the Homewood Avenue back entrance to the elementary School on Sherbourne’s west side just south of Wellesley Street East – as there is now only one lane of traffic I can see the school buses during morning rush hour being a real nuisance, frankly.

    My own experience. A great improvement. However, there are too many persons who arrogantly stand on the bike lane at the bus stops rather than waiting to do so when their bus has actually arrived. I had an accent three weeks ago just north of Sherbourne when a senior woman on fast-moving senior scooter, without looking simply came from the sidewalk onto the bike lane. I ended up crashing into her and flying over my handlebar; naturally, said hussy had me properly told off because how dare I have the temerity to have struck an old woman. Bike lane should not be for scooters, she ought to have remained on the sidewalk where there was no pedestrian traffic. She had just left the high-rise immediately north of Carlton on the west side of Sherbourne and headed towards aforementioned intersection.

    I also think that the TTC’s website needs to create a YouTube video featuring the bike lane – it’s the best thus far, and articulate what is and is not permitted on the bike lanes.

    A month ago just after the lane opened, I experienced much hydroplaning when the breaks in the streetside bike lane barrier allowed for the rain run off to enter the bike lane owing to the natural incline of the street towards the bike lane and the storm drains. Hours later at 0400 the next day, I specifically came out to test the lane, now of course, the temps had dropped and the line though generously salted – I was impressed with that – was, however, dangerously slippery especially where the rain waters had made it onto the bike lane as aforementioned and had now become icy. Too, there was a lot of broken glass on the bike lane’s east/northbound side between Dundas Street East and Gerrard Street East. There were also a number of men casing the street of road… I do believe that the broken glass was deliberately applied to the bike lane to likely entrap cyclist who could then be preyed on by the louts; one of whom wanted to know if I wanted anything when I hopped off my bike and decided to walk it to avoid getting a flat.

    Great addition to the city now we just need to get one-way streets in the entire downtown and have the streetcars below ground – as well they ought to have been some 40 years now…

  3. Andrew Starling says:

    Every damn time I ride the Sherbourne bike lanes there are cars parked in them, or people walking in them. Because the lanes are not truly separate this will always happen. I would rather ride in the road. Build physically separate bike lanes with curbs on both sides.

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